A Christian No More? Studying The Jewish Roots Of My Faith And Feeling More At Home And At Peace Than Ever Before.

Where to begin? If anyone is familiar with my blog posts, you will know that I was raised Christian but have been moving away from the mainstream in the last few years. I have been wanting to post recently, but have been spending so much time researching and studying that I haven’t had the time. I am at a crossroads of sorts. I want to do what is right. Not right by what others tell me is right, but what God tells me is right. I have a lifetime of Christianity that has been given to me by others and a newfound understanding of truth that I have discovered on my own by reading more of God’s Word. Sadly, what I know from being taught by my parents, by the church and by books by Christian authors doesn’t line up with the truth of His Word. So I have been spending most of my time (when I am not at work or taking care of my three children) reading up on Judaism and learning the truth behind the stories and having lies I have been told exposed in the process. Before I get a bunch of comments about how I am being deceived by an evil force or how I have been led astray by a group of messiah-denying people, let me explain a few  things.

This journey I have been on didn’t just happen overnight. It has taken years. I feel like at this point in my life, I need to take action and not become complacent or lazy in my faith. I am pushing 40 years old now and for all my 39+ years on this Earth I have been told that Jesus is the answer to all the problems in this world. Jesus lives within me. Jesus is coming soon and will finally bring peace to a world that is constantly at war. I believed it all. Wholeheartedly at first. But less and less as the years have gone by. I have felt, and told others, that the Bible was inerrant and could be trusted. After learning about so many mistranslated verses and verses not in the original text, yet added later. I no longer trust every word like I used to. I have written in the past about my feelings towards the holidays and why I no longer celebrate them or support them in any way. Their Pagan roots as well as the commercialization of them leave me feeling embarrassed and disgusted that I ever participated in them at all. I haven’t eaten pork or any other forbidden food in nearly 3 years. Some will say the old food laws no longer apply and were “nailed to the cross” with Jesus. Well, if you believe in the Bible at all, you would see that Jesus himself said he did not come to abolish the laws. Matthew 5:17-18  “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  Now if you believe in Jesus and believe the Bible to be true, you can see that he did not come to nail anything to the cross. All of the laws God put in place still apply. Jesus followed them so why shouldn’t we? But I don’t do anything because Jesus did or didn’t do them. I try to follow God’s laws. My Father’s laws. God made all of the laws and He is never changing. If these things were important then, they are now as well.

I don’t want to repeat all of my feelings on things that I have written about in the past. Feel free to go back and read some of my older posts. I think you’ll notice the changes happening. I will say again that I do not believe Jesus is God. If you read his own words, you’ll see he says the Father is greater than he is and that he is preaching about what his father wants for us to know and the words are not his own but come from God. But I now am finding it hard to say I believe in Jesus at all. The historical Jesus? Yes. The divine son of God Jesus? No. It’s hard to get into all of the details of why my beliefs have changed without writing a novel, but I will say that Old Testament writings need to be read more carefully before saying  that prophecy spoke of Jesus as the messiah. I think a lot of my issues believing in Jesus as the messiah are the  prophecies of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) have yet to be fulfilled. The popular Christian explanation is that anything left unfulfilled will be completed upon Jesus’s return. I used to believe that was an acceptable explanation and now it seems to be just an excuse or a cover up. So why do people believe that Jesus is the messiah? Why did I believe it? Why do I no longer believe it? Most of the reason is the fact that most of the so-called fulfilled prophecies of Jesus were “predicted” in the New Testament, written years after his death. If I write about things that have already happened, I could get many predictions correct as well. I could “predict” the winning lottery numbers and I would be right. I could “predict” who will win the world series and, again, I would be right, So you see, writing about prophecies that are fulfilled years after events happen, is a suspicious way to prove a point. Also, Christians who support the notion of Jesus as messiah take New Testament writings about Jesus and try to back their claims of messiah up with quotes from the Old Testament. If you don’t take the time to dig a little deeper, you may believe them as I once did. Here are a few examples:

  1. The messiah’s bones would not be broken. The New Testament proof that this prophecy was fulfilled is from John 19 in verses 33-36 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.  The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” The Old Testament verses used to corroborate this claim come from Exodus 12:46 and from Psalm 34:20. What do these verses say? Exodus 12:46 says “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.It’s weird to use a verse about not breaking bones that also includes meat and where to eat it to prove Jesus is the messiah. Let’s read everything in context. Exodus 12:43-47 says,The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal: “No foreigner may eat it.  Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it. “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.  The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.” Read in context, we can see that the writer is referring to an animal for the Passover meal, not foretelling of Jesus on the cross. Since that proved nothing, let’s look at Psalm 34:20, he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” Again, let’s have some context. Psalm 34:15-20 says, The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” God protects the righteous person who has troubles. God will deliver him from them and protect him. Once again, not talking about Jesus here.

2. The messiah will be falsely accused. Proof? Mark 14:57-58, Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.” So where is the Old Testament proof to back up this claim of a prophecy fulfilled? Christians point to Psalm 35:11. Let’s read what it says, Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.” Now let’s see what we find when we read Psalm 35 beginning in verse 11 but read all the way through verse 28, Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.” Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.
May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.” This is David crying out to God about his own situation and nothing more. You can’t say that Jesus was falsely accused and then pick a random part of the Old Testament where someone else was falsely accused and say it’s a prophecy. If I were to lose my job, could I find a story of someone in years past losing their job and say it must have been a foreshadowing of my situation and have you believe that? Of course not. David’s situation and Jesus’s are two vastly different scenarios and have nothing to do with each other.

3. The messiah will be forsaken by God. Matthew 27:46 says, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).”So what verse in the Old Testament is offered as proof of this prophecy being fulfilled? Psalm 22:1. So here it is,My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?  Read the whole thing with me, not just verse 1. Psalm 22:1-7 says, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.” Once again, we have David crying out because of his situation and feeling abandoned by God. This is not someone saying in years to come there will be a messiah going through the same thing. It was David having his own issues with God and nothing more.

4. I will group a bunch together here, because they all have something in common; they use Isaiah 53 as their proof. Here they are: The messiah will be rejected by his own people. The messiah will be silent before his accusers. The messiah will be crucified with criminals. The messiah will be buried with the rich. The messiah would be a sacrifice for sin.  I won’t quote all of the New Testament verses to prove that Jesus went through all of these things. They are well known to Christians. I will just list them for you to look up yourselves if you so desire. They are:  John 1:11, John 7:5, Mark 15:4-5, Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28, Matthew 27:57-60 and Romans 5:6-8. The Old Testament verses used as proof for these are Isaiah 53:3, 53:7, 53:12, 53:9 and 53:5-12. I will quote the entire chapter 53 of Isaiah since this has been used in every church and on every Christian Messianic prophecy website to “prove” it is talking about Jesus. Here it is, Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked,  and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Now I will admit, when I first read this, it sounded an awful lot like what Jesus endured. I can see why so many Christians point to Isaiah 53 to prove Jesus is indeed the messiah. However, these verses in Isaiah refer to an unnamed servant. Are there clues elsewhere in the Book of Isaiah to figure out the identity of this servant? Of course there are. This is why it is so important to read things fully and not pick an choose which verses to quote to prove a point. Let’s look at Isaiah 41:8-9, “But you, Israel, my servant,  Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” Isaiah 43: 10-12 says, You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.” Now these verses are interesting because they do two things. One, they identify the servant as Israel once again. Two, it has God Himself saying there is no other savior apart from Him. This was back before anyone had a clue who Jesus was. God said He was the only Savior. So if people remembered these words, when Jesus arrived on the scene, they would be able to say, “God Himself said no one but Him is our savior, including you.” God never said there would be a son of His coming or one third of a trinity coming who is also the savior. Only Him. Isaiah 44:1-2, But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you. Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.”  And again in Isaiah 49:3, He said to me, You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”  I watched a couple of good videos on YouTube and I will give the links to them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1flTZ3xpTo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TZO5EdMk3A

I am by no means saying to anyone reading that I have all of the answers. My WordPress user name still accurately describes me: “One of God’s Children Seeking the Truth.” I still seek the truth. I am going to follow wherever truth leads me. If it leads me away from where I have been raised, where I’ve been comfortable, where I’ve been told to be and where I have been too afraid to leave, then so be it. God is my guide and will not lead me astray. If you agree, then great. If you don’t agree with anything I’ve written, I would encourage you to study the scriptures on your own, without someone interpreting them for you. Go to the Old Testament and read God’s truth. Then read your New Testament and see if things actually line up or if they only make sense when the church tells you that they make sense. I’m sharing what I have learned as I always have. But, instead of following Christians, I will follow my God. I will learn the ways of the people who experienced his wonders and his signs. One thing I can say about Jesus for sure, is that he kept the old ways and remained a faithful Jew. If I am to follow anything about him, it’ll be that. I will not forsake God’s Laws and follow man’s laws. I will no longer say I am following Jesus by being part of a religion that he himself would not have been okay with. You can believe in Jesus. You can not believe in him. But never forget who God our Father is. Cling to His truth and follow His commands. He won’t let us down. He never has and never will. He is unchanging.

There will be much more to come as I learn more and can gather my thoughts. This change in direction has been coming for awhile. I am not jumping into a new religion and I am not abandoning an old religion. I am merely following God and the facts. There is no need to label who I am. I merely want to be a servant of God and what you call me makes no difference to me or to Him. I will share truth as I learn it as well as expose lies or mistranslations as I find them. If I am wrong, correct me the right way. With facts. Do not quote your pastor, your priest, or even the Pope. Remember that God’s words mean more than any Sunday sermon or any catchy slogan on a bumper sticker. I have had Jesus on my mind since I was a child and I thought he was in my heart as well. Then I realized that it was God all along. He is in my heart. He is who I long to see. He is who I long to please. Jesus has taken God’s place in my life. But no more. I have but one Father. I Have but one God. I have but one hope and His name is YHWH.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “A Christian No More? Studying The Jewish Roots Of My Faith And Feeling More At Home And At Peace Than Ever Before.

  1. Wow! Very powerful, and I think – useful, too – in clarifying the falseness of Christianity.
    However, the arguments you have presented here are all very logical, or rather, rational. And that doesn’t always work in these cases. What I mean is that I can hear in my head counter arguments to what you’ve written.
    For instance, taking things out of context is quite common practice in religion, and I think it could even be legitimate…So are anachronisms. Because the surface understanding of a verse is always only partial understanding of it. PSHAT, in Hebrew. And there are infinite deeper understandings, which may even go well beyond what the writer intended, or thought he understood, and beyond the historical order of things, as well. Because the verses are divine, and the prophet but a vessel. They are but messages from above, passing through the prophet,with many-fold meanings.
    Our sages do it all the time in their Midrash. Taking out of context I mean. David himself wrote “On the Rivers of Babylon”, even before the Temple was constructed – in a prophetic way, as we believe.
    So focusing on taking out of context could justly be countered, because, as I’ve said, it’s quite legitimate.
    But there has to be logic, you’re right. I’m just saying that David’s words about his troubles in life may well fit as prophesied words for another, later, historical figure, so I don’t think that’s a good argument.
    But I think your way is good – good luck with it, and I’m following…
    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. Context can be key in some cases and in others not so much. I’ve written about things in the past using certain verses to illustrate a point. Never to deceive, but to educate or help others understand. I think that using some of the Old Testament verses to back up New Testament claims only works when they strengthen the case for Jesus as the Messiah which I don’t think they do. I’ve read that Jesus supposedly fulfilled hundreds of prophecies, thus proving he was the Messiah. Then I noticed they were in the New Testament. Hardly enough to convince me since they were written after his death. I read an analogy about it on a Jewish website. I can’t remember it exactly, but it was something along these lines: Someone was walking through a forest and saw a circle drawn on a tree with an arrow in the exact center. Then they came upon another and another. When they approached the archer, they were amazed and asked how it was that they were so good at hitting the bullseye every time. The archer said, ” Simple. First I shoot the arrow and then I draw the circle.” I think that’s what a lot of people do. They see the “arrows” of Jesus’s life and draw the circles of prophecy around them. I am new to this, so bear with me as I travel on this new road going forward. I am eager to learn truth and follow my intended path. I am not sure where it will lead and that’s okay. I have a great guide. I will be starting to learn Hebrew and hopefully be able to decipher truth for myself instead of relying on translations made by those with an agenda. I’ll do my best. Thanks again for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I admire your courage and truthfulness. I am not a guide, and I’m glad you have one. But you and your way fascinate me, and I would love to hear from you here or via other means, if you feel like it… Anyway – Behazlacha – good luck on your way!

        Liked by 1 person

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